‘The Cannibal Club’ (2018) – Brazen Brazilian Horror Review

Jabbing at the social hierarchy that exists in Brazil with pure bloody brilliance is Writer/Director Guto Parente’s film, The Cannibal Club. In a colorful and satirical way, Guto blends violence, sex, and social standing, putting it all on display unapologetically in this wicked tale with one randomly jazzy score.

Otavio (Tavinho Teixeira) is head of a private security agency in Brazil and safely resides in the upper crust of society. He has a gorgeous beachfront estate and a stunning wife named Gilda (Ana Luiza Rios) with whom he shares a very debaucherous lifestyle. This couple is beyond freaky, and instead of just partaking in some kinky sexual activities, they kill and consume other human beings.

Within the first moments of the film, we witness Gilda having a heyday with the poolboy as her husband, Otavio, watches nearby, hidden and masturbating. Just as a sexual climax seems imminent, Otavio rushes out with with an ax to behead the hired help. His wife lay underneath, enjoying immensely the blood pouring out onto her. This opening can possibly sum up a lot about what Parente was trying to point out; that the rich and immoral select take pleasure in exploiting the needy masses, corrupting, consuming and eventually disposing of them when they are no longer of use.

But this meaningful existence they have carved out for themselves is beginning to leave a bitter taste in Gilda’s mouth. Her husband and his associates proudly proclaim their allegiance to a violent, corrupt, and clandestine group of powerful individuals in Brazilian society that are hellbent on ridding their corner of the world of what they consider scum. Gilda does not appreciate the “Boys Club” mentality that is overtly thrown in her face when it comes to certain matters, but in return, she does not hide her disdain for this fact, either.

At a party, Gilda accidentally stumbles upon a prominent friend of her husband’s getting banged in the butt by their personal security guard. Cue awkward silence. She is outspoken and confident, but also appears to suffer from a repeated history of overindulging in alcohol, and Otavio wastes no time in dismissing her claims of what she witnessed. Shit hits the fan, though, when Gilda decides to visit the associate of her better half and attempt to smooth things over, explaining that all is well and he need not worry. His secret is safe. This backfires in dramatic fashion and sends Otavio into a near frenzy when Gilda does eventually shares all of this with him. Their way of life is now in jeopardy.

With plenty of sass and sex, Parente brings a slick yet sick social commentary that deserves a watch. The Cannibal Club definitely delivered a bloody and darkly comedic good time, but as the film reached its finale, I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed. But don’t let this deter you from watching. The Cannibal Club is a brilliant segue into helping introduce an elevated level of filmmaking coming out of Brazil. It is, technically, a very well made piece of movie making, with beautiful cinematography and noteworthy performances from its actors. Parente peppers something special into this flick and possesses obvious talent. He also entertained audiences with My Own Private Hell (co-directed with Pedro Diogenes), a film far from the murderous storyline of The Cannibal Club, yet one that still provides evidence of the director’s potential. So by all means, savor this kinky and quirky South American addition to the genre.

About Danni Winn

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